I think the BC government might be on to something trying to encourage efficiency in emergency rooms and reductions in waiting lists by providing bonuses to Doctors. The CBC reports,
According to the 2003 OECD report, “Tackling Excessive Waiting Times for Elective Surgery: A Comparison of Policies in Twelve OECD Countries,” it has been tried in other countries and yielded positive results.
The OECD study discusses currently popular thought on two methods for reducing wait times including supply side policies and demand side policies. The study suggests the answer is a combination of both.
Demand-side policies include the prioritization of patients according to need, managing access to waiting lists accordingly or encouraging private health coverage to divert public care to private care.
Supply-side policies include increasing the number of specialists and beds, maximizing available capacity in the private sector, funding extra activity, fostering same day-surgery, and linking the remuneration system of doctors and hospitals to the activity performed.
Re-numeration for effective management of wait lists and increased activity is an example of a combination of demand/supply side policy. Productivity is higher at hospitals that are funded based on activity versus those whose funding is based on fixed budgets. Allowing dual practice by salaried surgeons (in both public and private sectors) could encourage some surgeons to lengthen the public queues to boost the demand for their private practices (OECD, 2003).
It will be interesting to see if this new policy will have a positive affect on health care waiting times in BC. At least BC is trying to do something unlike the Harper/Cons whose new health care wait times plan actually increases wait times for some surgeries across Canada.